CUSTER and CRAZY HORSE:
Battle of Little Bighorn
June 9–17, 2012
Neil Mangum, Thomas Powers, and Douglas Scott
Custer at the Little Bighorn has inspired more controversy than any other battle in American history. A detailed examination of this event is the focus of this unique offering by HistoryAmerica TOURS.
The defeat on the eve of the American Centennial shocked the Nation. Considered a crack regiment, led by a Civil War hero, the army disaster spurred an eternal debate concerning its leader and his subordinates, their character, skills, and motivation; the strength of their opponents; and the decisions and factors that precipitated the conflict.
Leading the tour is Neil Mangum, former chief historian at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and author of the Battle of the Rosebud; assisted by Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Powers, author of The Killing of Crazy Horse; and forensic archeologist Douglas Scott, author of They Died with Custer: Soldiers' Bones from the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Contributing will be John D. McDermott, author of Red Cloud's War. Neil will describe military personalities, the army's method of warfare, and troop movements, while Tom will share his knowledge of Indians' ways and leaders. Doug, who has conducted recovery projects at the battlefield, will pinpoint the action of the ground. Jack will focus on the reasons for the conflict and its results. An unprecedented four-party presentation, this once-in-a-lifetime tour offers the novice and the expert alike a day-by-day, blow-by-blow, step-by-step rendering of the greatest legendary battle of the Indian wars, one that still captures the imagination of the American people.
Cost: $3,195 Single Occupancy, $2,775 Double Occupancy
Click to request a 2012 printed Travel Guide.
Saturday, June 9
Gather in Bismarck for a briefing and welcome dinner hosted by the historian guides and HistoryAmerica TOURS.
Sunday, June 10
Visit Fort Abraham Lincoln and tour the Custer House and associated buildings. Talks today lay out the reasons for conflict, the overall plan, and the peripheral events influencing the outcome. We travel to Medora this afternoon and stay at the Rough Riders Hotel, one of the early hotels in North Dakota.
Monday, June 11
Begin to follow the Custer Trail to the Little Bighorn, with specialized talks along the way. In early afternoon, we start at the mouth of the Rosebud on the site where General Terry issued the controversial orders to Custer. We then follow Custer's route to the Little Bighorn with a view of sacred Deer Medicine Rocks on the way, the site of Sitting Bull's prophetic Sun Dance. Check into the Billings hotel, where we will spend the next four nights.
Tuesday, June 12
Neil will guide a tour of the Rosebud Battlefield today, where Crook and Crazy Horse met in six hours of some of the hardest fighting in the Indian wars. In the afternoon tour Reno's valley fight at the Little Bighorn with Doug Scott and company, inspecting battle lines, markers for some of the dead, and the retreat to the river.
Wednesday, June 13
Visit Reno and Benteen's position at the Little Bighorn to learn about individuals and incidents on both sides during the day-long fight. Walk to the cavalry's firing line on Entrenchment Trail and to the ravine where volunteers risked their lives to bring water to the wounded.
Thursday, June 14
Spend the day considering Custer's route and fate. Learn about troop movements, Indian positions, and credible theories concerning what happened during the last hours of the fight. Visit the museum for special talks and view artifacts related to the battle.
Friday, June 15
Travel back to Medora today, where we learn about the rise of the cattle industry following the defeat of the Sioux and Cheyennes. We also will hear about the roles played by the Marquis de More and Theodore Roosevelt on the growth of the town and the region. Enjoy a truly western dining experience this evening, a Pitchfork Fondue supper. Overnight in Medora.
Saturday, June 16
En route to Bismarck, we visit Sitting Bull sites at Fort Yates and environs with guide from Sitting Bull Community College. Visit the site of Fort Rice on the upper Missouri River, built for the protection of Euro-American travelers and settlement on western lands. Return to Bismarck for our farewell dinner.
Sunday June 17
Depart at your leisure following breakfast.